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Some ideas for traveling in the Eastern Cape


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Hi all Hubbers, I just want to find out if anybody has done the following ride and get some tips.

Plan is to do between 80km - 100km per day. Starting at Rocklands outside Uitenhage traveling on the Elands river gravel road towards Patensie , the next day to go into the Baviaans Kloof for about 100km stay over , next day to Willowmore and then maybe ending the trip in Steytlervile.............

So please fire away with any tips etc etc. GPS files will also be first price !!

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That is a well traveled route with a few options but remember once you go into the Kloof you will need a support vehicle and riding partners. Quite a few places for overnighting on that route. 

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I dont have it with me now, but will try and remember to post some route options and pointers tomorrow. Have done a bit of riding around there before, and planning some stuff myself for later in the year. 

 

On an unsupported ride, as it sounds you will be doing, some of the distances can get pretty hectic between places to stay, or get supplies/refil water etc, but it is well worth it. 

 

100km days back to back, especially through bavians etc, in the "Uphill" direction carrying gear can get a bit tough. keep that in mind, make sure you alsways have a plan B. Obviously im saying this without any idea of what sort of fitness level you are.

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There was a GOOD travelets map on the Willowmore Information website, with contact details of the very wide range of accomodation in Baviaans.

 

 

The first section is farming. With the odd shop where you can stock up.

 

Might make life easier if you could B&B along the route. Once you enter the reserve you are all on your own. Though there a few camps ....

 

 

Lots of water crossings....

 

 

One monster hill

 

 

But what excellent scenery !!!

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You should get hold of Hanneli Steyn,they did the Southern Cross last year .I rode with them from Willomore to Patensie.They then went into Baviaans back to Cape town.

They should have their tracks.

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Personally, I would ride hard to Patensie, then do more, but shorter days, with more sleep overs, through the Baviaans Kloof, and end in Willowmore. Let's face it, the BaviaansKloof is the crown jewel of that trip and I'd rather spend my time there than to add the stretch from Willowmore to Steytlerville. (And you must know that I'm a Karoo kid through and through.) I did the Willowmore - Steytlerville stretch in the Landy last week. It is pretty quiet but a little bleak and certainly not a patch on the Baviaanskloof area. Also, Steytlerville has become a bit ragged over the last decade or so. If you want to add more distance after Willowmore, consider the road towards Uniondale, which is prettier, but also much busier. Uniondale is still in decent shape.

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Why dont you extend the trip by 1 day and ride baviaanskloof, uniondale ending in knysna? I've done this in reverse in 2004. Knysna to Jeffreys Bay. Problem now is that you will have to have a backup vehicle for the baviaans. They dont allow unsupported cyclists through as far as I know.

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Why dont you extend the trip by 1 day and ride baviaanskloof, uniondale ending in knysna? I've done this in reverse in 2004. Knysna to Jeffreys Bay. Problem now is that you will have to have a backup vehicle for the baviaans. They dont allow unsupported cyclists through as far as I know.

I was there 2 years ago and you are not allowed unsupported.Guy staying at the Bavianskloof Lodge where I was staying was there to train trail running and he also had to have a support vehicle.

BTW the food at the Lodge is ongelooflik.Hantie's Kudu Pie with Quince Preserve on the side is a meal made in heaven.

https://www.baviaansklooflodge.com/

I was planning some more hiking and adventure there this year but my July road trip plans were rudely interrupted

post-523-0-35891200-1601706770_thumb.jpg

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Personally, I would ride hard to Patensie, then do more, but shorter days, with more sleep overs, through the Baviaans Kloof, and end in Willowmore. Let's face it, the BaviaansKloof is the crown jewel of that trip and I'd rather spend my time there than to add the stretch from Willowmore to Steytlerville. (And you must know that I'm a Karoo kid through and through.) I did the Willowmore - Steytlerville stretch in the Landy last week. It is pretty quiet but a little bleak and certainly not a patch on the Baviaanskloof area. Also, Steytlerville has become a bit ragged over the last decade or so. If you want to add more distance after Willowmore, consider the road towards Uniondale, which is prettier, but also much busier. Uniondale is still in decent shape.

This is great advice - I do a race in steytlerville every year - people are so lovely but the town has been ravaged by drought - I didn’t go last year but from 2015 to 2018 they had no rain, nothing. The town has a decent spring but the farmers stories are sad

The route from Willomore to steytlerville is long hot, dry and dull - that said I did it and loved it because you zone out - but I was just doing that stretch and travelling fast and light

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Thanks for al the advice, back to the drawing board....the support vehicle is going to be challenging, my wife dont like heights at all ( going over Bergplaas). I did the "Langsbaviaans" in 2011 so i "know" that gravel road from Willowmore to Steytlerville. I know that area is very dry we went hunting there now for the last 5 years, Aberdeen and Steytlerville area, it is terrible to say the least. We have nice rain in Addo and Kirkwood so lets hope and pray they get some aswell....

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Thanks for al the advice, back to the drawing board....the support vehicle is going to be challenging, my wife dont like heights at all ( going over Bergplaas). I did the "Langsbaviaans" in 2011 so i "know" that gravel road from Willowmore to Steytlerville. I know that area is very dry we went hunting there now for the last 5 years, Aberdeen and Steytlerville area, it is terrible to say the least. We have nice rain in Addo and Kirkwood so lets hope and pray they get some aswell....

The stretch from Willowmore to Steytlerville ALWAYS has a head wind. No matter in which direction you ride. It is a freak of nature! :ph34r:  ;)  

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Why dont you extend the trip by 1 day and ride baviaanskloof, uniondale ending in knysna? I've done this in reverse in 2004. Knysna to Jeffreys Bay. Problem now is that you will have to have a backup vehicle for the baviaans. They dont allow unsupported cyclists through as far as I know.

PM Patensie. He grew up in that area

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Are you familiar with the Komoot app? It’s excellent for planning routes and navigation. The desktop interface is much better for planning though.

 

if you have a data connection the live navigation is also good, but it obviously chows battery. You can download your planned routes, and put them into any gps, but komoot also intergrates with the newer Garmin devices. It is by far the best route planning software currently available for cycling 

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